By Brian New

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DALLAS (CBS11) – You may not have been born with a brain like Albert Einstein’s, but you can make yourself smarter.

Member and past president of the North Texas chapter of Mensa, Mike Magolnick, said the background and formal education levels of members of the highly-selective Mensa organization vary greatly.

To become a member of Mensa, one must pass a test proving to have an IQ in the top 2 percent.

“We all come from different walks of life, but there is a common thread between everyone in Mensa,” Magolnick said. “That is the desire to learn.”

So if you have the desire, here’s our top five simply ways to become smarter (Perhaps you too can become a Mensa member).

1. Be Social

Don’t just do smart things like go to the museum, but do these activities with other a group of friends. Science proves the more social interaction people have, the better they perform cognitively.

“Success leaves clues,” Magolnick said. “So if you are around smart people and do what smart people do and you socialize with smart people; you can inherently take on some of those traits.”

2. Limit Your Sugar

Research suggests eating high amounts of sugar can cause neurological problems. Studies shows high fructose corn syrup slows down your brain – effecting its ability to remember information and even learn.

3. Play Games

Much like what lifting weights does for your muscles, playing games does for your brain. Studies show puzzles and games are a great way to sharpen your brain. Even certain video games can make you smarter.

“Yes, video games can make you smarter,” Magolnick said. “Video games are getting a lot more complex these days. The ability to understand not just hand eye coordination but the logic and strategy that goes with these games is really next level.”

4. Stay On Task Online

The web is a great source for online classes as well as instructional and thought-provoking videos. Even going to social media sites, like Facebook, to connect with friends can be good for your brain.

It’s when you get off task and find yourself watching pointless videos and or taking silly surveys and quizzes, that your time online is doing nothing to make you smarter.

5. Write Down What You’ve Learned

You probably already know that smart people read a lot, but what really smart people do when they read is they write down what they’ve learned.

Studies show even scribbling down a few thoughts will improve your focus and boost your brainpower.

“A lot of people are auditory as well, so read it, write it, and say it,” said Magolnick. “That’s a good way to learn things.”

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